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Horror Films of the 80's

Megan Cross

Recently I had all taken you on a joy ride through time to the 90’s and all its horror glory. But then I realized something else—what about the 80’s?  The decade that I was born into was filled with leg warmers and one hit wonders but also was packed with some crazy horror flicks.  I’ve comprised a pretty hearty list of films that will no doubt make you turn back the hands of time.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to let you down.  Or give you up…

THE FOG—1980

What a way to kick off the 80’s! This John Carpenter classic introduces the tale of a mist infested with demons who are out for revenge!  The Fog is no doubt a horror classic of the 80’s and sadly has been repackaged with shitty remakes.  If you haven’t seen this flick, I highly suggest only watching the original.

Friday the 13th—1980

One by one the collective bunch of sex-crazed, clueless camp counselors are falling prey to a mysterious knife wielding killer. This film added to the fab four that kicked off the slasher Industry and no doubt inspired various Horror Films.  Not to mention, I don't think anyone truly expected the ending.  The original film will always remain a classic in this franchise.  (I can't wait to play the video game...)

The Shining--1980

"I’m not gonna hurt ya—I’m just going to bash your brains in!" Fantastic.  Jack takes his family to the Overlook Hotel in an effort to get some writing done.  But to the horror of his wife, he falls prey to a dark demonic force in the hotel.  Nicholson has some serious range as an actor and legitimately scares the shit out of me.  I don't think anyone else could have pulled this role off.  Also—I can impersonate Danny when he says RedRum.  It’s the little things…

An American Werewolf in London—1981

Traveling through London, An American tourist gets bitten by a wolf. To his surprise and terror, he starts to transform into what the locals call 'a werewolf'.  This film earned an Academy Award for Best Hair And Makeup and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  David Naughton’s transformation into the furry beast terrifies the shit out of me--every. single. time.  During Monsterpalooza, I got the opportunity to meet David during a signing.  He asked me what my name was and because I was frozen in such shock, I gazed up at the ceiling as if god himself was somehow going to help me figure out what that was.  I’m so embarrassing...

The Evil Dead—1981

This supernatural horror flick is a classic.  During their stay in a cabin in the middle of the woods, a group of teens suddenly succumb to demonic forces.  (And tree rape...)  Sam Reimi developed this film on a low budget which resulted in sky rocketing results.  Evil Dead became a cult classic and generated 2.6 million at the box office.  Evil Dead was definitely an inspiration for future supernatural horror films.

My Bloody Valentine—1981

This Canadian slasher follows the story of Valentine’s Day party thrown by rambunctious teens who fall victim to a blood thirsty maniac in mining gear. The scenes in this film are a horror fan’s wettest dream.  And obviously it’s a requirement every Valentine’s Day that this becomes the one thing you pop into your DVD player.  Or Blu-Ray. Whatever.

The Thing—1982

Directed by John Carpenter, the Thing centers around a crew that discovers an alien that has been buried for 100,000 years. This movie terrified the shit out of me.  Anything to do with discovering something you really shouldn’t have discovered is a recipe for disaster. 


One day, I just want to meet Stephen King so I can die happy. Creepshow is a hilarious horror film that brings creepy comic’s to life.  This film is a staple to any horror junkie’s film collection.  Fuck-A-Diddle and Happy Fathers Day.  If you haven't seen it--I highly suggest you do.  You won't regret it.


"They're here..."  By far one of my favorites from the 80’s! Poltergeists seem quirky and fun to the young family living peacefully in their suburban home.  Till suddenly they kidnap their youngest daughter!  Very creative and spooky.  This film makes you think twice about trusting the paranormal.  I tried diving into the remake and not to anybody’s surprise—I was extremely disappointed.


"Don't get him wet, keep him out of bright light and never feed him after midnight."  Billy receives a Mogwai as a Christmas gift, but after screwing up some simple instructions, the whole town becomes infested with tiny, snarling and mischievous Gremlins! This film illustrates that we can never follow three simple rules.  We are the recipe for our own disaster!  I met Zach Galligan at Monsterpalooza the fall of last year and he was the nicest guy on the planet.

Nightmare on Elm Street—1984

Another slasher added in the 80’s! Freddy has returned to enact revenge on those who have tattled on him.  Be sure not to fall asleep, you may never wake up! The Sultan of Slash, Wes Craven, no doubt created a slasher that can be watched again and again.  Nightmare on Elm Street developed into a well-Known franchise that we all know and love.  On that note--Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp are scheduled to be at Monsterpalooza next month and I cannot wait to meet them!


Much to his surprise, a Medical Student brings back his professor from the dead with a powerful injection. This flick was a staple of 80’s Horror.  Anyone and everyone knows about Re-Animator.  Written by H.P Lovecraft, this film stands its ground and separates itself from the rest.  There’s a reason why it’s known as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Fright Night—1985

What would you do if you found out your neighbor was a vampire? The original is definitely a cult classic but I also thought the remake wasn’t too bad either (and I’m not one to praise remakes). Generating 22.9 million at the box office, Fright Night became a widespread sensation.  I love movies that portray ACTUAL vampires.

The Lost Boys—1987

A small family moves to a town filled with vampires.  Fun! The Lost Boys begs for you to give into the bad ass vampire clique that runs the small town.  If only they truly existed in California!  I mean, shit, I’ve always thought that if there were any vampires they’d probably be in the heart of Los Angeles...


I have one golden rule that one should abide by when they watch this film for the first time—pour yourself some very, very strong liquor. Hellraiser follows the story of Cenobites who are explorers from another dimension that are out to experience both pain and pleasure.  Censorship was definitely a huge predicament with this film.  Censored or not, Hellraiser is a fan favorite.  Demon to some, Angel to others...

Killer Clowns from outer Space—1988

Aliens disguised as Clowns descend to earth to terrorize its inhabitants! These clowns are much different than our beloved Pennywise the clown from IT.  This flick is a cult classic.  The Chiodo Brothers ensure a good time with this film.  Although it’s packed with dark humor, Killer Clowns from Outer Space manages to deliver a memorable flick to its audience.  Get ready, Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3D will be released officially on September 28th, 2018...


Whew!  I didn't realize how long this list was going to be.  This pretty much covers a significant chunk of Horror Films in the 80’s but definitely not all of them! (I’d be here forever if I listed ALL of them).  If by any reason, you haven’t seen any of these, I highly suggest you block out a time, pop some popcorn and nestle yourself in for a hell of a movie marathon.  If my list of 80’s Horror Flicks made you feel nostalgic—then I’ve done my job.


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